105-year-old Sheffield woman shares her secret to a long life

105-year-old Winnie Laycock with her second telegram from the Queen.
105-year-old Winnie Laycock with her second telegram from the Queen.
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'Hard work' is the secret to a long and happy life according to Sheffield woman Winnie Laycock, who has just celebrated her 105th birthday.

Winnie was born in 1913 in the flat above her family's wet fish shop Quirk's on Duke Street, and worked there her whole life.

Winnie Laycock celebrated her 105th birthday at Housteads Residential Care Home in Shefield. She is pictured with The Lord Mayor of Sheffield Anne Murphy.

Winnie Laycock celebrated her 105th birthday at Housteads Residential Care Home in Shefield. She is pictured with The Lord Mayor of Sheffield Anne Murphy.

After her father George Quirk died, she ran the shop with her mother Lily and husband Joseph, taking it over full time when her mother became ill.

Winnie said: “I kept it on during the war, and while I nursed my mother when she was poorly.”

She started at the shop after leaving school at 14, delivering fish and poultry.

“Her dad said she had got two good feet and they did her well,” said Denise Hobson, activities co-ordinator at Housteads residential home, where Winnie now lives.

Her appetite for hard work has carried on since then, and staff at the home said she is always tidying and cleaning up.

Denise said: “She has always got her hands in the sink washing up.

“We have tried to stop her.”

Winnie moved into the home when she was 100, after living in a flat on Athelstan Road.

Denise said: “She's very sociable.

“She loves to dance and likes a good sing-song.”

Winnie has always been active, playing netball and going swimming as a pupil at Manor Lane Infants and Junior School.

She said she has always loved cooking.

Winnie married Joseph in 1941 at 28 years old.

She said: “He was a butcher at the shop across the road.

“He introduced himself one day and that was it really.”

As Joseph was a fire warden in the army, he had to leave the day after the wedding.

He later returned and moved in with Winnie and her mother, helping to run the shop.

Winnie said that her mother bought Joseph a car, and the three of them regularly took trips to the countryside with their Yorkshire terrier.

Winnie remains very close to her cousin Kathleen, who visits her every week.

The home organised a party for Winnie on Sunday April 8.

Denise said: “We kept it a secret.

“All her family turned up, it was brilliant.”

Winnie said: “It was a lovely day, everyone was happy.”